I was supposed to be in Brooklyn this weekend drinking wine on a patio and gossiping with my friend Sonja and her fiancé (check her out at Ginger and Toasted Sesame!). But alas! Our plans were thwarted by the evils of the summer cold! After changing my bus ticket I was left with nothing to fill my long weekend. Whats a girl to do? Since I was stuck in hot and sticky Washington DC for the weekend I decided I needed something cool and refreshing to combat the heat. This Lavender and Earl Grey Arnold Palmer did the trick nicely.
A traditional Arnold Palmer is comprised of a mixture of iced tea and lemonade and was popularized by the late golf legend of the same name. When combined in equal amounts the drink is called a “Half ‘n Half.” In college I used to work in the dining room at a family resort and this drink was the bane of my existence. For lunch we offered three drinks; iced tea, lemonade, and Arnold Palmers. I do not have the best memory so trying to remember which members of a ten top table wanted 1:4 versus 1:1 versus 4:1 ratios of iced tea to lemonade (pronto!) was not a pleasant experience. Thank goodness my serving days are behind me and I only have to focus on making this drink for me and mine!
“When you play by the rules, defy mental demons, overcome every challenge, and enjoy a walk in the country at the same time—that’s being alive.” – Arnold Palmer
My take on the classic Half ‘n Half uses loose leaf Earl Grey and Lavender-Infused Sugar to produce a floral and refreshing beverage. I began by brewing 2 cups of tea according to package directions. In my case that was 3-5 minutes. While the tea is steeping add 1/3 cup of your lavender-infused sugar and stir until dissolved. This will produce a very sweet tea, but if you grew up south of the Mason-Dixon line as my husband did you may feel differently and want a sweeter drink.
If you don’t have lavender sugar you can add lavender flowers and sugar individually to the tea but I don’t recommend it. Lavender is a very powerful ingredient and can easily overwhelm a recipe in my opinion. Its best to infuse your sugar with lavender at least a few days beforehand. In my experience this creates a subtle flavor that doesn’t punch you in the taste buds like Rocky Balboa and pairs well with the lemon and earl grey.
Once your tea has steeped, strain it through a coffee filter to remove the tea and lavender. You may have to do this a few times. I don’t mind a few stray bits of tea in mine so I generally strain once. Plus I’m lazy. Next, set the tea aside to cool. While the tea is cooling take the juice from three lemons and mix with 2 cups of cold water. If you’re anti-pulp like me, strain your lemon mixture through a coffee filter.
Combine lemon and tea and chill for at least one hour before serving. This recipe makes about 4 cups of Arnold Palmer and has just the right amount of sweetness to stave off the sour acidity of the lemon. I brought what was left to a Catan game night where I was informed that it is also good as a vodka mixer *wink*.
A cool and refreshing summer drink mildly flavored with lavender and bergamot.
- 4 cups Water
- 2 teaspoons loose leaf Earl Grey tea or enough to make 2 cups of tea
- 1/3 cup Lavender sugar
- 3 Lemons
Prepare two cups of tea according to directions. My tea called for 1 tsp of leaves per cup of hot water. While tea is steeping add lavender sugar. Stir until dissolved.
After tea is done steeping, strain mixture through a coffee filter to remove leaves and lavender. Let cool.
Squeeze lemons and add juice to 2 cups of water. If you don't like pulp, strain through a coffee filter.
Combine lemon and tea mixture. Chill for one hour. Makes 4 cups.
Make It Yourself:
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